UK Superstitions

Superstitions are strong beliefs that many hold. They’re very closely connected to national culture and many believe these superstitions play a role in the outcome of a situation. Many superstitions simply become a habit, I often find myself saying “touch wood” or “fingers crossed” when wishing luck to someone, despite not being superstitious myself. Let’s take a look at some of the most common superstitions held in the UK. 


Breaking a mirror means 7 years of bad luck.


It’s bad luck to open an umbrella indoors.


You can’t walk under a ladder as it’s seen as unholy.

You can reverse this bad luck by walking backwards through the ladders whilst praying.


You mustn’t put new shoes on a table as it’s associated with death.


Seeing one magpie alone means death.

The nursery rhyme states one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret, never to be told.


Touch wood for good luck (or cross your fingers).


Saying “rabbits” on the first day of each calendar month brings luck for the month.


It’s unlucky to spill salt on the table.

If you do this, you should throw the salt over your left shoulder to reverse the bad luck.


On your birthday, you should blow out the candles on your birthday cake and make a wish.

If you tell anyone this wish, it won’t come true.


Friday 13th is an unlucky day.

 In fact, all forms of 13 are seen to be bad luck. Many buildings miss out the 13th floor and it’s bad luck to have 13 people sitting at a table.


At a UK wedding, the bride should wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue (we have many other wedding superstitions!)


Bad things come in threes.


It’s good luck if you’re pooed on by a bird. Many people often play the lottery if this happens to them.


If you find a penny on the floor, you should pick it up for good luck.

The saying goes “find a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck”.


Don’t step on the lines of pavements otherwise you’ll break your back.

The saying goes “‘Don’t step on a line or you’ll fall and break your spine! Don’t step on a crack or you’ll fall and break your back!’

On top of this, many people have lucky items and actions that they will do individually to bring good or bad luck. Are these superstitions similar in your country? Let us know in the comments below!


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